Last night I (Katy) had the privilege of attending Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children workshop. The Greater Lafayette Sexual Assault Prevention Coalition teamed up with Heartford House to provide this 3-hour training free of charge to those who interact with children in our community. While child sexual abuse does not directly relate to the mission of the Drug-Free Coalition it is still important. During the training I did learn that 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use. This is just one of the many consequences to children and our society that begins immediately when a child is abused.
Since this blog is read by numerous members of this community I wanted to share the main message from last nights workshop in hopes that we can begin to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Here are the Seven Steps to protecting our children ::
Step 1 :: Learn the Facts
Realities - not trusts - should influence your decisions regarding children
Step 2 :: Minimize Opportunity
If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you'll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children
Step 3 :: Talk About It
Children often keep abuse secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it
Step 4 :: Stay Alert
Don't expect obvious signs when a child is bring sexually abused
Step 5 :: Make a Plan
Learn where to go, whom to call and how to react
Step 6 :: Act on Suspicions
The future well-being of a child is at stake
Step 7 :: Get Involved
Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse
Darkness to Light is a grassroots national non-profit organization based in Charleston, SC that seeks to protect children from sexual abuse by placing responsibility squarely on adult shoulders. They educate adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Visit them online at D2L.org.
If you are interested in this training you can contact GLSAPC at firstname.lastname@example.org or join us every 4th Tuesday of the month at 9am for our meetings. Meetings are located at the YWCA DVIPP office on 6th street in Lafayette.